Halley Berry, Ava DuVernay, Kerry Washington, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Viola Davis and more are paying tribute to the legacy and “extraordinary” life of Diahann Carroll. The 84-year-old actress passed away on Friday (Oct. 4) following a battle with cancer.
With a career that spanned over four decades, Carroll’s impact reached across generations. The Tony Award-winning and Oscar-nominated actress made TV history in Julia, becoming the first black woman to star in a non stereotypical servant role, and further secured her legendary status with unforgettable roles in Dynasty, A Different World and Claudine, among other titles.
“Diahann Carroll walked this earth for 84 years and broke ground with every footstep,” DuVernay tweeted. “An icon. One of the all-time greats. She blazed trails through dense footsteps and elegantly left dialog along the path for the rest of us to follow. Extraordinary life. Thank you, Ms. Carroll.”
Berry, who named Carroll in her 2002 Oscars speech and presented her with the Groundbreaking Role Award, at the 2003 TV Land Awards, reflected on the first time that she saw the Bronx native in Julia.
“I can still feel the impact of that moment to this day. Diahann’s powerful body of work not only paved the way for me, but she is a true testament to women of color in entertainment, and her affect on this world will be felt for years to come.
Washington shared a caption expressing her eternal love for Carroll. “I am because of you,” she wrote on Instagram.
Pinkett-Smith posted a vintage photo of Carroll sporting a pixie cut with the caption, “To our beloved Diahann Carroll… you may no longer be with us, but a legend you shall ALWAYS be.”
See more tributes below.
Diahann Carroll walked this earth for 84 years and broke ground with every footstep. An icon. One of the all-time greats. She blazed trails through dense forests and elegantly left diamonds along the path for the rest of us to follow. Extraordinary life. Thank you, Ms. Carroll. pic.twitter.com/YXjh7d3LWU
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) October 4, 2019
— Taraji P. Henson (@TherealTaraji) October 4, 2019
My dear friend and mentor, Diahann Carroll. A groundbreaking talent.🕊 pic.twitter.com/h5eHHpJWsA
— Dionne Warwick (@_DionneWarwick) October 4, 2019
She is, was, and forever will be AN ICON!! Simply everything, EVERYTHING! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 https://t.co/g40S0uG5yO
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) October 4, 2019